ShellAlKhor-2106 lowres
Al Khor

Qatar Shell and Bedaya have kicked off this week the second annual Enterprise Challenge Qatar with hundreds of university and high-school students gearing up for the competition. Universities and schools around the country are witnessing sessions where the ‘Enterprise Challenge Qatar 2013’ mentors are training the students on several business modules in preparation for the competition.

Corporate Advisor at Qatar Shell, Khalid Al Thani, said:

Qatar Shell believes that cultivating entrepreneurship begins with another kind of investment – in young minds. The Enterprise Challenge Qatar has therefore expanded in 2013 to reach a larger group of universities as well as schools in Al Khor and Al Shamal; a primary area of focus for our CSR efforts.’

The Enterprise Challenge Qatar is a programme that encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst young people, promotes their business knowledge and equips them with practical business skills, developing their business acumen, team work, and strategic thinking. The programme has two tiers for high school and university students.

Over the coming weeks, mentors – trained by Qatar Shell, Bedaya and the UK-based charitable organisation Mosaic – will deliver several sessions to students on ethical business and train them on how to navigate a computer-based business simulation. The competing teams will continue to work with their mentors until the semi-finals in October. The finals will run during the Global Entrepreneurship Week 17 – 24 November 2013, which Qatar Shell is sponsoring.

Universities participating this year include Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, Stenden University, Texas A&M University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, Qatar University, Community College Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and College of the North Atlantic Qatar.

Participating schools are Al Khor Boys School, Al Khor Girls School, Al Shamal Girls School, Al Shamal Boys School, Al Zubarah Boys School and Al Guwairiya Girls School.

ShellCarMel-1951-2 hires
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar

According to Bedaya’s CEO, Saleh Al Khulaifi, the mentorship programme is designed to involve members of the local business community in the challenge so they can inject their own real life experiences into the training sessions. He said:

We’ve been very grateful to have more than 40 mentors from various sectors, whether entrepreneurial film makers or owners of manufacturing companies, join us to add industry-specific insight to their technical experience when mentoring the students.’

The Enterprise Challenge Qatar programme is rapidly expanding, with a growing number of institutions, businesses, schools, and mentors getting involved. Organisers from Qatar Shell and Bedaya are confident that this will become a national challenge within a short period of time. The ultimate aim, according to Al Khulaifi is that ‘we will have Enterprise Challenge alumni who start their own businesses and one day come back as mentors, and tell students that they became entrepreneurs thanks to the challenge.’

Aysha Al Abdulla, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar specialising in Business Administration, said:

Participating in the Enterprise Challenge 2013 gives me the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom in the past four years at CMU-Q. It is great practice for next year when I have graduated and will have to apply what I have learned into real life situations.’

The Enterprise Challenge is developed by Mosaic, an initiative of HRH the Prince of Wales for Muslim youth around the world. Qatar Shell is the founding sponsor of Mosaic in Qatar. Qatar Shell and Bedaya partnered in 2012 to launch and develop the Enterprise Challenge in Qatar.